From the Honda division that resurrected the NSX and Integra nameplates, Acura is hoping to pique the interest of new buyers with the Precision EV Concept, a large crossover that previews the company’s electric future. Unveiled at this year’s Monterey Car Week and shown again even more recently to invited guests in New York City, the Precision EV features sleek surfacing and a reimagining of the brand’s signature design cues.
“This is the first look at our design direction to an electrified future,” says Dave Marek, Acura’s executive creative director. “Moving as a performance brand in the era of electrification, how do you communicate performance detailing when you don’t have the traditional enablers like quad exhausts, etc.?”
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To that end, designers—many of whom worked on Acura’s new LMDh race car slated to compete next year at Daytona and Le Mans—stuck with more traditional, sporty proportions, including the long wheelbase and longer dash-to-axle configuration, with the wheels pushed far out to the corners.
As with all carmakers who find themselves wondering what to do with a front face in the days where large grille openings are no longer needed, Acura designers kept many of their signature stylistic elements, such as the pentagon-shaped grille. Added to this is a slightly raised diamond pattern that’s lit from behind and features a large, illuminated “A” logo front and center. Also setting the car apart is an intricate, 3-D-printed pattern Marek calls the “glitch,” accenting the lower front and rear bumpers, as well as the wheels. “We wanted to create what you see digitally on a screen to a 3-D shape,” he says. “Like when pixels glitch, and then it focuses.”
Unlike many electric show cars that envision the interior as only a lounge space, Marek and the design studio created a dual approach, with a driver-focused cockpit that uses a yoke-style steering wheel and driver’s display inspired by Formula 1 cars. A relaxing mode would, in theory, allow the car to take over autonomously. But, Marek underscores, “We are a performance brand, so if the wheel doesn’t disappear, it’s not the end of the world.”
While the Precision EV Concept is solely a design study and isn’t built on a platform that will go into production, Acura (and parent company Honda) are forming crucial partnerships that will enable the scalability of its EVs going forward. Recently, Acura announced it would build its forthcoming ZDX EV on the General Motors Ultium platform, shared with the Cadillac Lyriq. Acura executives say the company is also developing its own proprietary electrified platform, with specific product details yet to be announced. Honda has also partnered with Korean electronics maker LG to build a $4.4 billion factory in the US to supply its future EVs with solid-state batteries.
“As engines go away it’s going to be an interesting time,” says Jon Ikeda, Acura’s vice president and brand officer. “With this car, we have the potential to break the rules a little bit and challenge our engineers. Yet we are talking about a business here also. It takes time to grow.”
Click here to see more photos of the Acura Precision EV Concept.
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